Unless you’ve been in a cave or a coma lately, you’ve heard about I-594 coming up on Washington’s November ballot. It’s the 18-page gun control measure sponsored by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR*) mandating so-called “universal background checks.” You can find the full text of the initiative here.
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations working together to forge commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence. We support the Second Amendment right of citizens to own guns. We also believe with that right comes basic responsibilities. As a society we are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and promoting solutions that reduce gun violence.
That is why we are pursuing an initiative to ensure universal background checks for gun sales in Washington State.
… This initiative will simply ensure that a background check is conducted for every gun purchase.”
Not quite. We’ll get to that in a minute. Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Washington Public Disclosure Commission. The first column is $ raised. The second is $ spent. The third column is “debt.”
|Details||WA ALLIANCE FOR GUN RESPONSIBILITY||591||A||$7,594,105.67||$2,798,772.59||$50,264.96|
And hey, check this out. In 2014, Bill and Melinda Gates kicked in $500,000. Each. Note which outfit has contributed $1,000,000 – and from which state. Hint: It’s not Washington. Here’s another interesting item on them thar “gun responsibility” folks.
Meanwhile, here’s the short version of why I-594 is a great idea. It’s a great idea if:
- You’re trying to make illegal behavior more illegal. That way every criminal is sure to abide by it.
- You think universal gun registration is the best thing since sliced bread.
- You think going after honest citizens deters crime (how many criminals comply with background check requirements?)
- You love the idea of regulating transfers — not just sales — of all firearms in the Evergreen State, and think papering criminals with more paper will actually reduce violent crime.
- You haven’t figured out that a well-armed populace is one of the strongest crime deterrents we have.
- You think Bloomberg will be there to protect your family.
- You know that when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.
- You’re waaaay smarter than the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, which has come out against I-594. Ditto the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA), which also opposes I-594.
- You’re fluent in Seattle-ese.
In case you’re interested – and even if you’re not – here’s the digest:
Initiative Measure No. 594
Filed June 17, 2013
AN ACT Relating to requiring criminal and public safety background checks for gun sales and transfers; amending RCW 9.41.010, 9.41.090, 9.41.122, 9.41.124, and 82.12.040; adding new sections to chapter 9.41 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 82.08 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.
If you’re not up for plowing through the legislative equivalent of War and Peace – in Russian, backwards, standing on your head – just look at a few little gems contained in the language. For example, take this little darlin’ on page 7:
(25) “Transfer” means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.
Yeah, we caught that.
Advocates claim I-594 is a “universal background check” measure. Not. The end game is universal handgun registration. And we all know where gun-grabbers want to go with that puppy.
Know what else? If I-594 passes, every time you temporarily transfer your firearm to someone else at the range or elsewhere, you could be violating the law. Why? Because under I-594, virtually every temporary transfer of a handgun is subject to dealer regulation and completion of the Pistol Transfer Application, a copy of which RCW 9.41.110(9) must be sent to the Department of Licensing for inclusion in the state database of law-abiding handgun owners. Concealed Pistol License holders, who are subjected to fingerprint-based checks, are not exempt!
Pardon me if that doesn’t sound like sheer stupidity.
And yes, I’m an NRA member. Deal with it.
BTW, last week I sent the following message via No on I-594 to Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Gov. DooDah Inslee, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, Sen. James Hargrove (D-WA), Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-WA), Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-WA), and Atty. General Bob Ferguson (D-WA):
As I am sure you are aware, I-594 poses a serious threat to the Second Amendment rights of every Washington citizen.
This 18-page gun control measure would greatly expand the government registration database of all law-abiding handgun owners in Washington because I-594 will specifically regulate transfers, not just sales, of ALL firearms. This means that in virtually all cases, a person merely handing his or her firearm to a family member or a friend cannot do so without brokering the transfer through a gun dealer with the accompanying fees, paperwork, use taxes, and in the case of handguns, state registration.
I-594 also doubles the state waiting period on handgun sales from 5 to 10 days and extends it to every private transfer of a handgun!
This deeply flawed initiative is heavily funded by wealthy elitists and has been publicly opposed by the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs and the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, along with many of your friends and colleagues thus far.
It is for these reasons that I urge you today to join these groups in publicly opposing this dangerously misguided initiative by adding your name to the National Rifle Association’s list. Thank you for your time and consideration.
To date, I’ve received one response. From Derek Kilmer. It goes like this:
Thank you for taking the time to send me an email. I will follow-up with a response soon.
Isn’t that suh-weet?
For more info.:
Yes on I-591 to protect your gun rights.
* Check out WAGR’s Endorsements page. It a Who’s Who of Sweet Li’l Lefties.
The following was received from Derek Kilmer (D-CA) on October 6. Note: The subject line of my email to Rep. Kilmer asked him to “Tell Your Constituents to Vote No on Initiative 594!” And yes, I’ve already contacted my state reps, who are NOT Blake, Hatfield or Takko. I’m not in the 19th. They are. Way to go.
Thank you contacting me about Washington State’s I – 594. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
First, I don’t support legislation that would take away guns from law-abiding citizens or infringe on their ability to own and buy firearms for sport, hunting, hobby, or home protection. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and know that the vast majority of gun owners follow the laws. Our laws should reflect that reality.
Under Washington State and federal laws, firearms dealers must have a license in order to sell guns, but do not require background checks for gun sales done by people who are not dealers. Under state law, a dealer is defined as someone who is in the business of selling guns or is otherwise required to have a federal license.
Initiative 594 would require that all sales or transfers in Washington State require background check, with some exceptions such as transfers between family members and antiques. These provisions were filed as an initiative to the legislature and have been certified by the Washington Secretary of State. The State House Judiciary and Senate Law and Justice Committees have held hearings on the initiatives. The State Legislature can enact the initiative into law or send it to the general election ballot. In other words, the action on this proposal will be at the state level – not in Congress. In fact, according to Congressional ethics, in my role as a Member of Congress, I am not able to weigh-in on state initiatives. I encourage you to reach out to your state legislators as well and share your thoughts about this initiative.
Sen. Brian Hatfield: (360) 786-7636
Rep. Dean Takko: (360) 786-7806
Rep. Brian Blake: (360) 786-7870
I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind if similar legislation comes before Congress. I encourage you to continue to share your views with me on this topic or any other issue. Thank you for reaching out. It is an honor to serve as your representative.
Member of Congress